Oceano

Courtesy of California State Parks Oceano Dunes District - Pismo Beach

Update March 18 10:00p.m.

The California Coastal Commission unanimously voted to end the use of off-highway vehicles (OHV) at Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area during a 12-hour meeting Thursday, March 18.

Rachel Showalter/KCBX

The Central Coast section of Highway 1 is one of the most scenic drives in America. A new mural in south San Luis Obispo County is giving people another reason to stop and take a look around.

Joe Johnston/San Luis Obispo Tribune

Enjoying nature while preserving it is an age-old conflict in California, but nowhere is it more fraught than at Oceano Dunes. Can off-roading and endangered species coexist?

Angel M Russell

It’s been six months since Oceano Dunes State Park has allowed vehicular recreation on its beach and dune complex. While many are calling to keep it closed now for the pandemic—and for a variety of reasons, into the future—others are advocating for its immediate reopening.

Primary 2020: Central Coast results

Mar 9, 2020
Michael Barros/KCBX

KCBX News is updating the results in this post as they come in.

The latest unofficial vote tally was released on Monday, March 9 just before 5 p.m. There are still 4,784 ballots to be processed by the San Luis Obispo County Elections division. Clerk-recorder Tommy Gong said it's "to be determined" when the next counting will take place. 

Five Cities Fire Authority

The future of San Luis Obispo County’s Five Cities Fire Authority will be in the hands of a select group of voters in the upcoming election. The fire department that serves Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach and Oceano faced uncertainty in 2019 as the communities grappled with how to fund it. On March 3, Oceano voters will weigh if a tax hike is worth the cost of continued shared fire services.

Courtesy of the Oceano CSD

Next year there’s going to be a big change in voting dates in California. Instead of the primary election being held in June, it’s moving up to March 3, 2020. On that ballot, Oceano voters will decide a special tax measure to fund fire and emergency medical services.

Courtesy of Five Cities Fire Authority

At the end of February, when Arroyo Grande city staff floated the idea of leaving the Five Cities Fire Authority (FCFA) in San Luis Obispo County, it threatened the future of fire services for the city, as well as Oceano and Grover Beach. This week, the Arroyo Grande city council decided the fire department shouldn’t disband yet. And now all three communities served by the FCFA—Arroyo Grande, Oceano and Grover Beach—have six months to come up with funding plan all agree on.

Five Cities Fire Authority's uncertain future

Feb 28, 2019
Five Cities Fire Authority

Arroyo Grande city officials and community members met for over four hours this week to consider if Arroyo Grande should stay in the Five Cities Fire Authority (FCFA), which isn’t actually comprised of five cities, it’s three—including Oceano and Grover Beach. The meeting came after city staff recommended Arroyo Grande leave the fire department, essentially dissolving it. Now San Luis Obispo County officials may be stepping in to help save it.

Anita Ritenour/Flickr

With a heat wave on the horizon, public safety officials along the Central Coast are reminding residents and visitors celebrating Independence Day that all fireworks are completely illegal to use or even possess. Except where they are legal.

Habitat for Humanity for San Luis Obispo County, Facebook

A Habitat for Humanity project in Paso Robles is such a success that it’s becoming an example for the organization of how to best use resources. 

State of California

Several San Luis Obispo County communities will receive nearly $3.7 million in state grant money to fund future water projects. 

Randol White - KCBX News

Projects to reduce the amount of air pollution caused by particulates coming from the Oceano Dunes don't appear to be working. Testing shows the number of days with poor air quality on the Nipomo Mesa held steady, despite the addition of sand fencing and hay bales.

California State Parks spent more than a million dollars on the projects this past spring.

Larry Allen is the Air Pollution Control officer for San Luis Obispo County. He believes the problem can be fixed without putting an end to vehicle access on the dunes, but says some action needs to be taken.

The man who has been in charge of San Luis Obispo County's public works department for the past several years will become Oceano's new general manager this summer. Paavo Ogren is expected to begin running the Community Services District in July.

Mary Lucey is the vice president of the district board and told KCBX Friday, they're very excited to have somebody of Ogren's caliper ready to take charge.